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Microsoft broke consumer laws down under

by on28 November 2012

Windows 8 upgrade misleading

Boxed copies of Windows 8 are "misleading" customers and breach consumer law down under.

A formal complaint by an Australian consumer, backed by consumer group Choice, has been sent to the the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The complaint argues that Redmond should have a sticker on their box clearly marking it as an upgrade only.

Microsoft only sells the "upgrade" version of Windows 8 Pro in Australia at major retailers, meaning you must have an existing copy of Windows installed on your machine first. Some users apparently freshly formatted their hard drive or tried to install it on a PC they've built themselves without an existing Windows installation. Quite why anyone who knows how to build a computer, but did not have the smarts to spot an upgrade only version of Windows is anyone's guess.

However Windows 7 the upgrade-only version was clearly marked "Upgrade" on the box. Microsoft confused matters further in its press release, saying Windows 8 Pro would be available off-the-shelf as a "full packed product". However, at the launch event in October, it clarified that the boxed copies in stores in Australia were upgrades only.

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